At Monday night’s Town Meeting, Georgetown voters brought two victories to the budding local cannabis industry by approving Article 18 – which lets the town waive marijuana property line buffer requirements – and defeating Article 19, which would have limited retail pot shops to one.
Currently, a buffer of 300 feet from property line to property line is required in the town’s marijuana overlay district. There are 72 lots in that district, but many of those lots are not developable because of wetlands and other environmental factors.
“About 75 percent of parcels that are within the district simply cannot be used for the stated purpose because of this 300-foot property-line-to-property-line prohibition,” Planning Board member Harry LaCortiglia said.
Article 18 allows town boards to approve waivers to that requirement with on a case-by-case basis with special permitting, and only with a supermajority (four members) of the Planning Board voting in favor and only if a marijuana business can show that it would be effectively unable to operate in town with the 300-foot restriction.
The measure does not expand the marijuana overlay district or ease any borders of that district. The waivers are for lots within the district only.
With Article 19, town officials hoped to limit the number of retail shops to one. But that effort failed.
Healthy Pharms, the town’s only marijuana dispensary, is going forward with recreational retail, so if Article 19 had passed, they would be the only retail cannabis business allowed in Georgetown.